After losing the battle with aggressive liver cancer, Plato Anthony Marinakos Sr. 84 died on October 15th, 2020 at home surrounded by his large loving family. May his memory be eternal.
On December 26, 1935, Plato was born in Pittsburgh, PA to Greek immigrant parents. His parents, Anthony and Evanthia Marinakos were from modest means and had no formal education. They initially struggled to survive but prospered in their new adoptive country. Plato’s life circumstances gave him the inner determination to strive and to achieve but equally important not to forget his humble origins. He attended Schenley High School in Pittsburgh. Plato became senior class president and graduated with honors. He attended the University of Pittsburgh as an undergraduate. After a brief attempt at medical school, he dropped out and joined the army. Undeterred by failure, he decided to pursue a graduate degree in Public Health and Hospital Administration at the University of Pittsburgh.
His first job was as an assistant administrator to the CEO at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. During his tenure, he initiated outreach health programs in indigent communities by sponsoring free standing clinics. Along with the medical staff, he worked diligently to create the first intensive care unit in the city as well as the first cardiothoracic surgical center.
After Allegheny General, Plato accepted the position of President of Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown, PA. He was very instrumental in establishing regional care and neonatal centers, a cardiothoracic program, and a hospital based geriatric center. As in Pittsburgh, he was instrumental in sponsoring outreach health center based in Cambria, Somerset, and Blair Counties. He partnered with the United Mine Workers to establish health centers in those areas which lacked health care services.
Plato was never satisfied and always worked hard to improve health care. He was offered the position of CEO of Mercy Catholic Medical Center. During his tenure, the hospitals were placed on a financially secure basis. Primary and ambulatory care centers were developed primarily for needy patients with salaried and partnered physicians and health care providers. More clinical services, two additional hospitals, plus the management of the North Philadelphia Health System were added. An HMO, the Mercy Health Plan, exclusive for Medicaid subscribers was established. This plan has grown and provides access to thousands and thousands of patients in various parts of the United States. Through an international medical organization established and funded medical outreach services to 20 communities in the mountains of Peru. He also devoted much time and effort in helping to bring together under one corporate umbrella 14 Mercy Hospitals, where he served as its first chairman.
During his career he served on many boards, such as University of the Sciences of Philadelphia, Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Independence Blue Cross Consumer and Business Affairs Council, Hospital Association of Pennsylvania, and his parish councils. He also served as an ambassador, People-to-Peoples Cultural Exchange Program, to China, in 1987 focusing on health, hospital, and public health care services. His focus was always to create and to innovate health care programs to treat underserved communities.
In 1963, Plato married Vasie Pecunes in Baltimore. Besides his wife of 57 plus years, he is survived by his three sons; Plato, Jr., Constantine, Theodore and ten grandchildren. His daughter Alexia preceded him in 2015.
Due to COVID-19, CDC guidelines, and local public health orders, the family has decided to have a private service. A celebration of life will be planned post virus. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Plato A. Marinakos Scholarship Fund, Chamond 11. Devon, PA 19333
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Plato A. Marinakos Scholarship Fund
Chamond 11, Devon PA 19333